Message from Youth Horizons President Robert Garner
I can’t believe that we are already in the middle of the third quarter of 2023. This has been such a wonderful year of impact. I’m excited to share updates regarding our residential and mentoring ministries, a re-envisioned annual Christmas Celebration event and an upcoming refresh of our website and brand.
Wren and KPBR
The two homes at Wren House for girls are fully operational and serving well. It gives me overwhelming joy to witness daily the power of God moving through the lives of the youth and families we serve. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge some of the struggles we face. These struggles arise from brokenness, hopelessness, and despair. Satan continues to wage war on the minds of young people. But the seeds we plant in the name of Jesus are fruitful. The stories I hear from youth, while some are difficult, are also encouraging. So many of them willingly receive the love and care we offer them. The few that don’t, we continue to pray that they receive God’s grace and mercy. Amid their adversity, we pray that the face of the Lord will shine upon them and that they see His goodness.
A friend of mine once told me, “You don’t have to go to a third-world country to be mission-minded. There is plenty of mission work right here in Wichita.” That statement challenged me at a greater level to see the urgency of mission work here and surrounding communities. It also reminded me of Chris Tomlin, who sings “God of this City.”
“You’re the God of this City/You’re the king of these people/You’re the lord of this nation/You are/You’re the light in the darkness/You’re the hope to the hopeless/You’re peace to restless/You are…Greater things have still to be done in this city.”
We continue to have tremendous financial needs. We are in need of new vans for Kinloch Price Boys Ranch. Our vans have aged and are in constant need of repair. We have grown tremendously. Four years ago when I assumed the role as President, we were employing just shy of 40 people. Today, we have over 60 employees. Onboarding the Wren ministry has weighed heavily against our current budget and, because we keep our youth engaged in activities, we need financial support in these areas as well. You mean so much to us. Thank you for helping us make a difference.
25th Annual Christmas Celebration, a Fresh Approach
I am excited for this year’s Youth Horizons annual Christmas Celebration. This is a pinnacle year for us as we celebrate 25 years of this Christmas-themed event. We are continuing the celebratory atmosphere with vocal talent from the Wichita area and adding a new element: a featured speaker. We are excited to introduce ToriHope Petersen as the keynote speaker for the Christmas Celebration. Featured at the 2022 Global Leadership Summit, Tori is a former foster care youth, a bestselling author, a former college track athlete and 2022 Mrs.Universe. She has a powerful and resonant testimony of God’s mercy in her life. Her resiliency and spiritual maturity make her an excellent choice to share her inspiring story and promote Youth Horizons’ values in our residential foster care and mentoring ministries.
We will share more information on Tori closer to the fall, but for anyone interested to learn about her as a speaker and author, please visit www.torihopepetersen.com or scan the QR code on the right.
Lastly, please stay connected with us through our emails, newsletters, social media platforms and website. Soon, we will unveil a website and brand refresh, which is being done by Gardner Design, a long-standing branding and corporate identity firm located in Wichita.